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Annual Lecture Series in Topology and Geometry
in memory of
Prof. Alexander Zabrodsky

The Institute of Mathematics invites you to this year's Annual Lecture Series in Topology and Geometry in memory of Prof. Alexander Zabrodsky:


Birge Huisgen-Zimmermann (University of California at Santa Barbara)

Part I: Overview
Thursday, November 24, 2005, at 16:00; Lecture Hall 2, Math Building

Part II: Degenerations
Monday, November 28, 2005, at 12:00; Kaplun Building, Lecture Hall, 1st floor

Part III: Classification
Thursday, December 1, 2005, at 12:15; Room 209, Math Building

[note: date, time, and place for lecture nos. 2 & 3 have been changed from the original plans]
Part I: Overview

ABSTRACT: This lecture is designed to be understood by a general mathematical audience, including graduate students with some background in basic algebraic concepts (such as would be covered in an introductory graduate course in algebra, plus low-level familiarity with the concept of an affine/projective algebraic variety).

We will start by discussing the ultimate classification goal in the study of a finite dimensional (associative) algebra $A$ over an algebraically closed field, illustrate this goal with some first examples, and introduce the concepts of finite, tame, and wild representation type. In particular, this will lead us to representations of algebras given by quiver and relations, which are located at the heart of this sequence of talks (we will introduce them here, no prior familiarity is required).

Part II: Degenerations

ABSTRACT: The only additional prerequisite required for this talk is the material of the overview lecture. Theory concerning algebraic group actions will be explicitly quoted as needed.

This part addresses arbitrary algebras $A$ over an algebraically closed field. We will reinforce the concept of a degeneration of a finite dimensional $A$-module with initial examples. Then we will discuss the projective varieties introduced at the end of the first lecture and exploit them to advance the degeneration theory of $A$. No proofs of the theorems will be included in the lecture (but I will be available to present proofs outside the lectures to anybody who is interested). Instead, we will emphasize concrete interpretations of the theory. In particular, we will demonstrate its force in applying it to concrete examples (these can be presented graphically, without a big buildup of technical and notational ballast, with the aid of a diagrammatic method which, in essence, was introduced by Alperin).

Part III: Classification

ABSTRACT: We explain -- first in an intuitive fashion, then more formally -- what it means for a collection of finite dimensional representations to be classifiable by way of a fine or coarse moduli space (in the sense of Mumford). Then we will answer the following question, which allows to illustrate the techniques we employ in the most transparent format: When do the representations with fixed dimension and fixed squarefree top permit such a fine or coarse classification? (Given a finite dimensional algebra $A$ with Jacobson radical $J$, the top of a left $A$-module $M$ is the semisimple module $M/JM$; that it be squarefree means that no simple summand occurs with a multiplicity larger than 1). In case the answer is positive, we describe the corresponding moduli spaces, sketch (in non-technical terms) how they can be accessed by way of quiver and relations of $A$, and again give examples. (An alternate approach to guaranteeing and constructing moduli spaces for quiver representations, due to King, will be touched on the side.)

Alexander Zabrodsky / The Mathematics Genealogy Project

Previous Zabrodsky Lectures:
1997-1998: Elementary Approach to Induction of Representations / Robert Oliver (Paris-Nord)
1998-1999: Curvature and Groups / Bestvina
2000-2001: Computation and Riemannian moduli / Shmuel Weinberger (Jerusalem/University of Chicago)
2001-2002: Virtual Knot Theory / Louis Kauffman (University of Illinois at Chicago)
2002-2003: Three-Dimensional Topology: computable or not? / Andrew Casson (Yale)
2003-2004: Riemann Surfaces and Their Moduli / Enrico Arbarello (Rome)
2004-2005: Ricci Flow and three-dimensional manifolds / John Morgan (Columbia University)

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Last updated: Nov. 24th, 2005